Levi Strauss & Co. announced that Katia Walsh will join the company as senior vice president and chief strategy and artificial intelligence officer, effective April 29.
In the role Walsh will be charged with translating Levi’s data analytics into meaningful decisions that drive business value and competitive advantage. She will be responsible for building the data, analytics and artificial intelligence enablers to support the global business across innovation incubation, new business models and strategic growth initiatives. She will report to Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer, and will be a member of LS&Co.’s global leadership team.
“Katia’s expertise in data and analytics, including big data platforms, analytics services, machine learning products, and digital solutions will be essential to setting LS&Co. on a course of continued industry leadership,” said Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer at Levi Strauss & Co. “She is a talented team builder and positive change agent, capable of translating data products into successful commercial initiatives and consumer experiences. I am confident that she will make a big impact.”
Walsh joins LS&Co. from Vodafone, where she was the company’s first chief data and analytics officer, responsible for the company’s success in providing a predictive, proactive, and personalized experience as part of its digital transformation. At Vodafone, Walsh also contributed to the use of data and artificial intelligence for social good. She is a member of Unicredit’s transformation and innovation advisory board and River Island’s digital advisory board, as well as strategy advisor to Fellowship.ai, a free data science training program. Walsh was named the UK’s Data Leader of the Year for the past two years by the Women in IT Awards series.
“LS&Co. is more than an iconic company; it’s also an innovation leader across industries,” said Walsh. “Strategic harnessing of data and machine learning will help position it for its next 165 years, and I look forward to contributing to its continued growth.”
Walsh has held strategic data analytics leadership positions at Prudential Financial and Fidelity Investments, where she drove customer-centric innovations. She is passionate about diversity and mentoring youth. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in strategic communication with a specialization in quantitative methodology.